Romantic + Fun Summer Engagement Photos on Michigan State’s Campus

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Kelsey and Andrew were so down for getting into the prompts that I gave them during their engagement photos—and it totally shows in their huge laughs and their genuinely sweet moments together.

This was the first set of engagement photos that I ever took with my favorite new lens, and I swear to you that this thing is never leaving my side again.

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Check back next Tuesday for a brand new blog post.

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Royal Wedding Inspiration: Timeless Gold Ballroom Wedding Photos

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I just happened to schedule an afternoon out to see Beauty and the Beast with friends the day after Lauren and Kyle’s wedding, and as I jumped into editing that week, I couldn’t help but see the similarities between their wedding and the gorgeous royal castle where it all takes place. Even the candlesticks had a striking resemblance to Lumière—and Lauren’s classic white bouquet by Petal and Forrest echoed the colors of the 2011 royal wedding that we all know and love. Add in a classic cathedral veil and gold chairs from Chair Happy, and you have the perfect elegant, timeless wedding. Scroll all the way down for more details from Lauren, along with a list of wedding vendors.

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From Lauren, the bride:

Kyle and I worked really hard to incorporate a lot of the traditional items in weddings that were important to us, a family-focused and intimate event, and also something that really reflected both Kyle and my personalities. Some details we incorporated to make it unique to us:

  • Our wedding colors: I’m a Spartan grad (therefore, green and white) and Kyle is a graduate of Adrian College (black and gold). Much of our relationship grew while I worked at Adrian College, and we spend a LOT of our time on the campus of MSU. We incorporated our past and our present with the colors.
  • Our wedding party: Not only was it important to us to have some of our best friends by our side—including fraternity brothers, lifelong friends, and high school besties. But also our siblings! On Kyle’s side, his little brothers joined in as groomsmen. And on my side, my best friends in the whole world (besides Kyle!), my brothers Brent and Matt (who served as my “best men”—or, as they’d like to call themselves, “Hand of the Bride”)
  • The decor: I’m definitely more into fancy, traditional, ornate things—so things like decorative chairs, special charger plates and fancy invites. Kyle is more rustic and has an extensive background in biology—so we incorporated wood accents, lots of flowers.
  • Our vows: We wrote our own vows
  • Our wedding music: It was important to my mom that “The Lord’s Prayer” be sung, as it was sung at my parents’ wedding. Kyle’s grandfather, Phil Knapp, is an avid singer. It matched perfectly! A song that is important to my family, and singing that is important to Kyle’s family. It was a lovely blend of the two. (My mom’s best friend, Tama, played the piano to accompany Phil.)
  • Spending time with just our wedding party after the ceremony and before the reception started: These people are our besties—and we knew the day would be busy. Setting aside a small amount of time to hang out with JUST them was important to us.
  • Obviously family is important to us, so we made an effort to make sure each person had a role that day. Our brothers served as groomsmen. My dad walked me down the aisle. Our moms served as hostesses. Kyle’s dad gave the blessing.

Wedding Vendors:

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A Family Sailing Holiday (Sort of)

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Our family traditions around Independence Day go back to my toddlerhood. We’ve gone up to Northport, Michigan almost every single year.

We originally planned to spend the whole week on the boat in Muskegon, but we ended up splitting the time—three nights on the boat and two in Northport to catch up with family and friends and to head to a birthday party for my cousin’s daughter.

My sister, Adriane, and her family were at the campground across the lake in Muskegon, so all nine of us went for a sail our first day, then we spent the next few days exploring Muskegon’s trails and beaches, watching the sun set over Lake Michigan, swimming in the marina pool and roasting marshmallows over the fire.

Our boat was originally from Northport, and we happened to meet the adult children of the original owner while we were at the park to see fireworks on July 4. It was so cool to their hear stories and to learn more about the sentimental history of the boat. The original owner is 91, and he still plays in the local Northport band (for my Gilmore Girls fans, Northport is the closest thing I’ve found to Stars Hallow, which I love).

Vacation is far from relaxing with two young kids (don’t let those hammock photos fool you), but this is exactly what I want their childhood to be—carefree days outside with their cousins getting messy (so, so messy), playing in the sand and running around without shoes.

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Garden Engagement Photos With Bulldogs at Southern Exposure Herb Farm

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I’ve been obsessed with Southern Exposure Herb Farm near Battle Creek ever since I photographed Courtney and Mike’s wedding there in 2015. Brittany and Mike loved all of the gorgeous gardens they have there, so when it didn’t work out for them to host their wedding there, they asked if it was okay to shoot their engagement photos there. The whole team at Southern Exposure is so giving—they were completely up for the idea (by the way, check out their themed dinners if you ever want to plan a date night or a night out with friends that will blow you away).

Brittany and Mike’s two bulldogs added so much personality to their session. If you’re thinking about brining your dog along for your engagement sessions, absolutely do it! Just be sure to bring a friend along to help out when it comes time to get a few photos of just the two of you together.

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Check back next Tuesday for a brand new blog post.

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